Steve Jones here… With only 37% of incumbent MPs returning to Ottawa and 84% of Liberal MPs being brand new to the job, our new parliament could be an interesting time with so many eager rookies.
Add to this, Prime Minister Trudeau has promised more openness in Parliament with more and more “free” votes. Meaning his MPs can vote their conscience, not their Party’s endorsement. Hopefully this will actually happen when it comes to current critical issues such as doctor-assisted suicide, decriminalizing marijuana, prostitution, religious freedom and other issues important to evangelicals.
The Fellowship is an affiliate of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) who are going to be busy over the next few months introducing themselves to the 63% of Federal MPs who are brand new to Parliament Hill. Telling them about the broader evangelical community in Canada and our concerns and suggestions regarding some of the big issues MPs will be voting on in the coming months and years. If “free” votes prevail, my hope is free-thinking prevails and MPs can be influenced by sound Biblical thinking prior to voting.
Please pray with me in the coming months that our new Government will pursue legislation that honours God and benefits all Canadians. Here is one update on one of these critical issues:
The Fellowship’s National Council signed a “Declaration on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide” on behalf of our churches along with dozens of other faith communities and denominations.
See the declaration attached, www.theEFC.ca/resourcesoneuthanasia for further resources and consider signing the Declaration yourself by going to http://www.euthanasiadeclaration.ca/declaration/. The EFC currently has 3,200 signatures affirming this declaration, but desires 10,000 signatures by Feb 6, 2016 — the one-year anniversary of the Canada Supreme Court decision that opened the door to physician-assisted suicide.
Religious leaders released the Declaration on October 29, 2015, just… ten days after our recent Federal election and the formation of a new Liberal majority government.
The Supreme Court of Canada has led this issue with a 9 to 0 vote ordering our legislators to change the law allowing exceptions to the ban on assisted suicide and euthanasia in Canada. The Court gave Parliament one year, however, the hope is the new Government will receive more time (until June 2016) and allow a meaningful nation-wide consultation on a critical issue that touches our very core beliefs on the sanctity of life and our inherent responsibility to care for one another in our nation.
In early November 2015, the EFC appeared before a federally appointed panel looking for legislative options in response to the Supreme Court’s challenge to the current law. The EFC is asking for an extension and pressing for a national strategy with legislative measures increasing access to palliative care across our nation. I sought to verify this number but was unsuccessful; but recently heard that only one-third of Canadians have access to any palliative care. This must increase in response to those advocating doctor assisted suicide. We must support doctors, the dying, and future generations by praying and advocating against a whole sale legislation that allows this.
PLEASE GET OTHERS TO SIGN the Euthanasia Declaration before FEB. 6, 2016
I would encourage you to go to www.euthanasiadeclaration.ca today and sign this endorsement protecting life, promotion of palliative care and the defense of personal conscience.
Please consider placing the following paragraph in your Church Bulletin/Flyer and website this week or mass email to your church, family and friends. My prayer is thousands will do this over the next two weeks. Please get the word out.
click here to sign> www.euthanasiadeclaration.ca
READ on if you want MORE Information
At a recent EFC President’s Gathering in Winnipeg (evangelical faith community CEOs), I heard extensively on this subject. The following is from my notes which give some historic background and context for our current upcoming debate concerning assisted suicide and euthanasia. You may be interested:
This is a critical debate for our nation. It goes to the heart of our beliefs on the very meaning of life. Is life sacred? To be protected?
We live in a pluralistic society with many views on this subject. Our Biblical view is but one among many. Pray with me that the many brand new MPs in Ottawa will listen carefully and will be given permission to openly vote in a “free” vote.
Have a blessed week,
Our 2016 Fellowship theme verse is:
“We should live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct and DEVOTION to God.” Titus 2:12(b) (NLT)